WHAT IS MESSY CHURCH?
Messy Church is church for families who may not find other forms of church appealing and who don’t yet belong to a church. It might be held monthly, bi monthly or even quarterly, and includes hands-on creative experiences, a celebration and a meal. It does not prioritise either the needs of children or adults but intentionally welcomes and provides for all ages.
Messy Church started in 2004 in the UK and has grown and spread all around the world and to many denominations as part of the Fresh Expressions movement. In Australia there have been Messy Churches since 2010 and many churches have been blessed through seeing Messy Church as a form of mission to whole families, not just children.
While each Messy Church is unique, there are underpinning values that are shared. It is church, not a kids’ club or Bible study. Therefore each Messy Church is Christ-centred and available and welcoming to all ages. There is a strong emphasis on hospitality from the invitation, the welcome at the door, the knowing of people’s names, the offer of conversation and drinks to sharing worship and a sit-down meal for all. The celebration is an invitation to worship through song, prayers and story. Creativity in many forms is encouraged, nurtured and explored by people of all ages, together.
The people who coordinate and attend Messy Church become a congregation of that church in their own right, not a stepping stone to the existing (usually Sunday morning) congregation.
Messy Church tries to focus on people as they are and form relationships with whole families, no strings attached.
God is doing some amazing things through Messy Church – not just with the new people who come, but re-vitalising the faith of many of the leaders and blessing whole congregations with new vision.